Beautiful Pictures of Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence in Flowers & Plants

Intrigue people and help them - especially kids - gain interest in science

By: THURSD. | 18-11-2020 | 3 min read
When you discover Craig Burrows‘ photos of flowers and plants, you are definitely not the only one thinking these must come from another world. Quote Craig Burrows

Graig Burrows' Ultraviolet Induced Visible Fluorescence

Craig Burrows takes photos using a relatively unknown process called ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence. It’s done by using high-intensity UV lights to illuminate the flowers, which look like something out of this world. Quite different than how we know them.

Flowers, Plants, and Leaves are All Fluorescing

One of the things about ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence that Craig points out as particularly cool is that when exposed to sunlight, flowers, plants, and leaves are all fluorescing. We can’t see that because it is overwhelmed by the intensity of the reflected visible light. It’s important to point out that this technique requires only UV light to pass and illuminate the flowers. Also, it’s important to work in as dark as possible environment.

An Interview with Craig Burrows

Amazingly, Craig is completely self-taught, having come from an academic background mainly in physics and being co-owner of a small manufacturing business where he often picks up a camera to take product photos for sales and marketing purposes. Craig Burrows about his general idea behind the pictures:
"General idea as in my purpose? I have quite a few now, though I didn't start out with them. When I started, I just thought it was a really beautiful technique, creating otherworldly unique images I hadn't seen before."

Oleksandr Holovachov

Craig first came across this kind of photography is done by a photographer named Oleksandr Holovachov. Oleksandr Holovachov:
"There are flowers that are both UV-dark and are not fluorescent. There are also flowers that are fluorescing much brighter when they are already pollinated and their petals are drying out and dying. There are plants which fruits are fluorescing brighter than their flowers. The nature of fluorescence is much more complex than it may appear at a first glance. Moreover, this biological phenomenon is incredibly beautiful and interesting photographic subject."

Develop Interest in Plants

Over time Craig Burrows came to develop an interest in the plants he photographed. He did research on species names, locations, ecological roles, etc. His own passion for plants developed as a result of the photography, and something Craig hopes it does for others as well.
"Most modern people seem to have a blindness to plants, taking them for granted as pretty objects without having a concern for what they do, where they come from, and which are meant to be there and which came from across the world."

Our World's Health

Craig continues:
"Our world's health is threatened not just by climate change, but by habitat destruction which is truly enabled by a lack of awareness of what was supposed to be here before man, and why we should try to keep as much of the native ecology intact as we can. Plant blindness enables this to happen quite easily."
Mimosa Pudica

Create Interest in Science

Craig explains that what he does also has a basis in scientific principles, he wants it to. And the beauty it sometimes manifests or the beauty manifested through science.
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Lacy Phacelia
Lacy Phacelia
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Liquidambar
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Monarda
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Strawberry
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Tamarix

About Craig Burrows

Craig Burrows is based in Southern California. He’s been practicing photography since 2010, teaching himself through a combination of practice, online resources, and academic background including physics. With respect to his portfolio, he calls himself an 'eclectic photographer'. If you’d like to see some more of Craig’s work, you can check out his website and Flickr profile, follow him on Instagram and Tumblr, and like his Facebook page.
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Cereus Jamacaru
Cereus Jamacaru
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi
Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi
Ultraviolet Induced Fluorescence - Craig Burrows - Hoya Kerrii
Hoya Kerrii


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